A perceived need for additional education is significant overall but varies by state and region. Some states will need to make a greater effort to help individuals see additional education as a relevant path to career advancement.

Percentage of U.S. workforce by educational status.
Base: U.S. adults ages 18-65 currently in the workforce (self-employed, employed for an employer or actively looking for work). N=176,727
  • 65% of the U.S. workforce doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree
  • Nearly half of the U.S. workforce feels they need additional education to advance in their current career, particularly those without college experience and who are not taking college courses.
  • This perceived need for career-advancing education varies significantly across state and regional economies.
  • When asked which educational credentials would be most helpful to advance in their current careers, those with some college experience and no degree, and associate degrees give highest priority to a bachelor’s degree. Those without high school diplomas or with technical/vocational degrees prioritize licenses and certificates.
  • A perceived need for additional education is significant overall, but varies by state and region.
  • The need is clear for more education that can help advance careers, particularly from those who have no postsecondary experience or credential.
  • Those who have completed an educational credential that is relevant to their work are more likely to value additional education.
  • Industry-recognized credentials may be overlooked by some groups as valuable pathways for upskilling and economic mobility.
Percentage of state workforce without four-year degrees who feel they need additional education to advance in their careers.
Base: U.S. adults ages 18-65 currently in the workforce (self-employed, employed for an employer or actively looking for work), without a four-year degree. Those who are currently enrolled in college-level courses have been excluded for the purpose of this analysis. N=81,984
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